COVID-19 Updates and Guidance > FAQs > Faculty Classroom Concerns

Faculty Classroom Concerns

1. Health and Safety Compliance

Faculty are empowered to make decisions in their classrooms or lab spaces to ensure the safety of students and others. At the same time, faculty are encouraged to give students every benefit of the doubt as we adjust to returning to campus.

You are encouraged to follow this procedure in working with students who do not comply with the mask requirement:

  • Ask the student to put their mask on in the classroom.
  • Should the student not comply, have a brief, private conversation with the student reiterating expectations.
  • Should the student continue to not comply with the reasonable directive, you may ask the student to leave the classroom. You should also file an informational report to the Dean of Students Office (DOS) ( utilizing the green “report a concern” button).
  • As a last resort, should the student refuse to leave the facility after repeated directives, you may request the help of Public Safety. Please understand that, depending on their activity at any given time, Public Safety may not be able to respond immediately.

Referrals to the Dean of Students Office: The DOS helps develop and maintain community standards in order to facilitate a safe and healthy campus environment for our students. Should a report be made to DOS alleging noncompliance to University expectations, the DOS will work to gather all relevant information and address the issue as deemed appropriate which may include a referral to the Student Conduct Process. This intervention may include interim restrictions while the matter is under review.

Referrals to the Department of Public Safety: The Department of Public Safety will respond to incidents where there is an imminent concern for health or safety. We expect faculty to address any behavioral and classroom management concerns at the earliest and lowest level possible. Faculty and staff are encouraged to discuss incidents with t​heir immediate supervisor and consult with the Dean of Students Office as needed.

Visit the Teaching Commons website (scroll down to “Example Syllabus Statements”) for a statement on COVID-19 Health and Safety Precautions.

​No. Like any other medical treatment and condition, a student's vaccination status is personal health information, which is confidential under university policy and is a record protected by FERPA. The University Registrar maintains all immunization records according to these requirements. Moreover, some individuals may not be able to get the vaccine due to medical or other reasons and, in line with DePaul's mission, we must practice inclusiveness and care to all members of our community and respect the privacy and dignity of every person.

All faculty, staff and students must inform the university if they have tested positive for COVID-19, received a COVID-19 diagnosis, they learn of a positive COVID-19 case at DePaul, or they believe they were exposed to COVID-19. Learn more and find how to report a case about yourself or someone else on DePaul’s COVID-19 Reporting Protocol webpage.

If DePaul confirms that a student in your class has tested positive, the university’s contact tracing process will begin. DePaul staff or a local public health agency may notify you if it is determined that you came into contact with someone affiliated with DePaul who is confirmed to have COVID-19, even if the risk of exposure to you is considered minimal. Each situation is assessed on a case-by-case basis. Faculty should not make these notifications.

If anyone​ needs a face mask, disposable paper masks will be available at a limited number of first-floor desk areas near building entrances.

Loop Campus Free Disposable Mask Distribution Points:

  • CDM Center, 243 S. Wabash Ave., Public Safety desk in the lobby
  • Daley Building, 14 E. Jackson Blvd., Public Safety desk in the lobby
  • Daley Building, State Street entrance, Public Safety desk in the lobby
  • Lewis Center, 25 E. Jackson Blvd., Public Safety desk in the lobby
  • DePaul Center, 1 E. Jackson Blvd., Public Safety desk in the lobby
  • Lincoln Park Campus Free Disposable Mask Distribution Points:

  • Holtschneider Performance Center, 2330 N. Halsted St., Public Safety desk in the lobby
  • Schmitt Academic Center, 2320 N. Kenmore Ave., Parking Services Office in Room 177
  • 2400 N. Sheffield Building in the lobby
  • Student Center, 2250 N. Sheffield Ave., lobby

The DePaul c​ommunity is vaccinated and we strongly encourage the same for all campus visitors. Campus visitors must comply with all university COVID safety protocols regardless of vaccination status.

No. Like ​any other medical treatment and condition, a student's vaccination status is personal health information, which is confidential under university policy and is a record protected by FERPA. If vaccination is necessary for a particular educational activity, for example a visit to a site that requires vaccination, faculty may contact the University Registrar on a strict need-to-know basis to determine which students have exemptions and need alternative arrangements.

If the st​​​udent is impaired or otherwise seems to need immediate assistance, or is disrupting the class, the faculty member can take appropriate steps. The best approach would be to initiate a private conversation making sure they’re OK and reiterating that they need to take care of themselves and not come to class/go home if sick. If a student needs immediate assistance, call 911 or Public Safety.

DePaul's contact tracing team does not have a way of knowing when teaching or student assistants are working with a class or who the assistants are. If a faculty member is alerted that a student in their class tested positive,​ they should share this information with the teaching or student assistants.

You should not go to a face-to-face ​class. If you feel well enough to conduct your course online, you should make arrangements to do so and communicate the information with your students. Faculty with an extended illness should consult with their chair or dean.

​DePaul is closely monitoring the situation and following guidance from the Chicago Department of Public Health, as we have since the start of the pandemic. 

2. Classroom Guidance

A seating​ chart would make contact tracing in a classroom much easier. At the same time, it’s understood that this may not work for every course or every class meeting depending on what is planned for that class period.

Eating and drinking in class is discouraged unless absolutely necessary. Masks may be adjusted temporarily while actively eating and drinking.

Faculty who are scheduled to teach at least one on-campus section with 40 or more students enrolled (as 8/27) will be individually contacted and will be issued a portable microphone and amplifier. Portable microphones should not be used in Zoom-enabled rooms when utilizing Zoom technology as they will interfere with the installed high-quality ceiling microphones.

3. Class Policies

4. DePaul Services

Most university services will be available both online and in person. Please visit the area’s website to check for any specific instructions.

Submit a question

If you can’t find an answer that you’re looking for, submit a question to our COVID-19 response team.